Fact or Myth: An Alcoholic Drink a Day Increases a Person’s Risk of Cancer


You are probably already aware of the major cancer-causing consumables out there. Most people know to stay away from cigarettes, processed foods, and sugary dishes. But many people do not realize that alcohol also has the ability to raise your risk of obtaining cancer. This may be surprising considering how many articles seem to popup every day exclaiming the merits of drinking a glass of red wine every day.

But contrary to popular belief, drinking alcohol does in fact raises the likelihood of developing cancer. Drinking actually causes chemical and physiological changes to take place in our bodies to a surprisingly prevalent degree. Researchers now consider alcohol to be responsible for around 5% of new cancer cases and deaths related to cancer all around the world.

Alcohol and Cancer Types

Alcohol increases your chances of obtaining cancer in 7 different parts of the body:

  • Liver
    alcohol is naturally toxic to liver cells. Drinking heavily can actually inflame and scar the liver which can increase your chances of developing liver cancer.
  • Mouth and Throat
    Researchers have concluded that heavy drinkers are 5 times more likely to develop mouth or throat cancer than nondrinkers. The alcohol damages cells inside the tissue.

  • Esophagus
    Esophageal cancer is a particularly scary form of cancer. It can cause one to literally have part of their esophagus removed. Alcohol can cause squamous cell carcinoma to develop in the lining of the esophagus.
  • Colon and Rectum
    People who drink heavily are up to 44% more likely to develop colon or rectal cancer than people who do not drink.
  • Breast
    The odds of developing breast cancer also increases proportionately with the amount of alcohol a person consumes on a regular basis.

How much alcohol causes cancer?

You can rest easy, drinking alcohol in moderation will not drastically increase a person’s chances of developing cancer on its own. Researchers have determined that for alcohol to affect cells to the point it causes cancer, a person will have to drink 4 glasses of alcohol a day.

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